What better way to surf the world wide web, than at a little outside coffee shop, or a beach bar? It’s all well and good until you start online banking on an unsecure network, or your neighbour steals your data. According to a recent study, 85% of people connect to free Wi-Fi, despite warnings that their data could be viewed or accessed by a third party.
Because of side-jacking or data sniffing your private data may not be so private
Cyber criminals are constantly evolving, so it’s entirely possible that the cute guy or girl sitting next to you has the ability to scan your laptop for vulnerable software. Once your out of date software has been identified, your local cyber criminal can use that vulnerability to access login credentials and other important information you have on your device. This is known as side-jacking. Another popular attack is known as data sniffing. It doesn’t take a tremendous amount of technological genius to be able to set-up a network with a generic name, like ‘Free WiFi’ or even ‘Secure Public Wi-Fi’, to trap potential users to thinking it’s a safe network. Once users connect, your data sniffing cyber criminal is able to monitor all users, and access any and all data sent via that network.
BullGuard’s 5 tips for safe Wi-Fi
Now that you know all about data sniffing and side-jacking, here are BullGuard’s top tips for safe wi-fi surfing this summer.
- Don’t ever leave your device unsupervised in public, and password protect it.
- Don’t bank or shop online while connected to a Wi-Fi network, and turn off Bluetooth and other types of connections when you don’t use them.
- Invest in a mobile security app like BullGuard Mobile Security. It not only enables you to back-up your device, but also protects you from viruses and spyware. The antitheft component allows you to lock or wipe your device, blocking unauthorized access to your data, and the firewall protects you from hackers and network attacks (a key defense in a hotspot zone).
- Ask an employee (barista, bartender) for the precise name of their hotspot, so you don’t unintentionally access one you shouldn’t.
- Always keep your OS and apps up-to-date. Your system will be armed with the most recent patches for any and all known vulnerabilities.
Get BullGuard Premium Protection today, and safe guard yourself against all identity theft threats and social media hazards. Get a free trial here.
Posted by Kirsten Dunlaevy